tv Charlie Rose WHUT January 24, 2013 11:00pm-12:00am EST
>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight clarissa ward of cbs news, she has been inside syria, reporting from inside syria. >> on the issue of our policy towards syria, what sometimes seemed unclear to me is what is our syria policy. what is the u.s.'s policy. because at the moment it's sort of looks like a kind of nonpolicy in a sense. i mean it's clear that the u.s. supports or does not support and condemns bashar al-assad but they're also not helping the rebels. >> rose: we conclude with a look at two recent elections in the middle east, one in jordan and one in israel. we talk with jordan's ambassador to the united nations prince bin ra'ad and
efraim halevy. >> when we first heard the rumblings of the arab spring some may have thought that thises with a train that was passing through the station in and out. i think his majesty understood full well that these were seismic rumblings. and the region has had for a long time been bereft of real reforms. his majesty began earlier on. and i think you know now felt that for those who had a vested interest in the stat usco, this is their time to understand-- status quo, this is their time to understand something is changing. >> there is something much more deep that going to happen in the months to am come and there have before been a few indications of this in the last 48 hoursment and that is that the problem of the relationship between religion and state between those who are orthodox and trawl orthodox and those who are to a large extent secular, how to create a
society in which you have common aims, common beliefs, and which people enjoy common rights. we have today a situation in israel which hundreds of thousands of israelis do not have a personal status in the country. >> rose: change in syria, israel and jordan when we continue. >> funding for charlie rose was provided by the following. a polar bear cub is born with no sense of sight. we are a decisional funding provided by these funders.
>> and by bloomberg a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. from our studios in new york city this is dharl charlie rose. >> the arab spring reached syria nearly two years ago when residents of a small southern city protested the government's tover ture of students. today those protests erupted into one of the post deadly civil yars in syrian history. over 400,000 refugees have fled the war-torn country, opposition remains fragmented and in some cases disorganized but as the violence escalates, the international community may have to decide when and how to intervene am joining me cbs news correspondent clarissa ward. she has spent much of the past year reporting from inside sirria. she is one of the only journalists to tell this story from the front lines. i am pleased to have her
here become on this program and to congratulate her because she received the dupont reward, one of the most prestigious awards in journalism for her reporting from syria, so congratulations. >> thank you very much. >> rose: i should also say that when she was formerly at abc and other places. an when i got to know her she was covering china for abc news and we very pleased to have her at cbs. so thank you. >> thank you. >> rose: so tell me where syria is as we speak. >> as we speak syria is in a bloody quagmire. it is a stalemate currently at the moment. i think there was a real sense towards the end of last year that the momentum was on the side of the rebels, that they were moving closer to the capitol, that they had launched this audacious attack into aleppo. but when president bashar al-assad stood up and made that speech in the operahouse in damascus earlier this month, i think we really saw that actually he's very emboldened. that he feels that time is on his side. that he does still enjoy the
support of the army, which is very significant in terms of effecting the rebel's ability to push further forward. and that he has managed to persuade the minority groupsing the alowiti we which he is a member and the christians that this is essentially a fight for their survival income a sensement and that therefore they should maintain their loyalty to bashar al-assad. so at the moment you are really stuck in this stalemate, with the rebels sort of moving forward one day and then back the next day, and bashar al-assad not really needing to make any progress to maintain what he already has, and of course with the support of the russians and the iranians. >> so if you look at the rebels, are they organized? >> no, no, they are not organized. and this is a discussion i've been having with rebels for the year that i have been going in and out and staying with different rebel groups, mostly in northern
syria and aleppo. and i remember having a conversation with one young manment and i said why can't you just pick one leader, and you can all get behind them. you don't have to love him more than anyone. but if you can all agree on one person then you can really start to push this thing forward. and he looked at me and he said clarissa, right now every reb nell syria thinks that he is the next leader of syria. so you have a situation where you have a lot of chiefs or would-be chiefs and very few indians. and whats that that has done is really to hamper the rebel progress in terms of communicating together. and it's also opened up up the door for more extremist forces to come in because they are organized, they are disciplined, they do have a more coheesive structure. and that has ultimately been much to the debt iment of the rebels. >> and where are they they --
>> i think the rebels aren't getting much support to be clear and particularly those sort of free syrian army commanders who espouse more secular value os, who are not part of supporters of more observation treatmentist groups. they say that they feel very letdown by the west. that they have not been given money, weapons, many of them feel, in fact, that the u.s. has gone out of their way to ensure that they don't get any of these heavier weapons. >> rose: because they are worried it will fall in the wrong hands. >> they're worried it will fall in the wrong hands. they're aware of the fact that there are extremist forces operating on the ground in syria now. when i went in february of last year, that was wasn't really the case. this wasn't a revolution about islam. people were talking about democracy. and people were talking about freedom. you don't rather so much of that talk any more among certain groups within the rebels. because there is a very strong strand of militant islamists who have taken advantage of the vacuum. they have come in with their
discipline, with their money, and their weapons which are coming mostly from gulf countries and saudi arabia. and they have a lot more-- they are almost all sunni muslims. and of course the rebels will try to tell you this is not a sectarian conflictment we do not have any problem with the alloweitz and we will be sure that after the fall of a-- assad thereant would be reprisal killings but they have to the done enough ultimately to win the hearts and minds of many of the ode people who are at this stage kind of looking on both sides and being like what do i do. nor have they done enough to alleviate the deep seeded fears that, of course, many have, that if the regime does fall,-- . >> rose: it's all for them. >> it's all over for them. >> rose: they have to leave the country or go. there was at one point floated an argument that they could somehow, that assad pite go to some enclave with others and protect himself. >> so the homeland or heartland so to speak is
along the coast. there is latakia and tartuk sess,. >> near the russian base. >> exactly, along the mediterranean and in the mountains as well overlooking that. there was a strong argument put forward by some people that it would make sense for bashar al-assad and the people to essentially retreat to latakia and try to set up some kind of a small state there. the reality is logistically it's hard to imagine how that would actually really take place. and whether or not in the aftermath of some kind of a victory where the rebels take damascus, they take a lemo, they woon then be tempted to go one step further and say no, you can't just escape to latakia. you must come and stand trial or you know, accept punishment for whatever your role may have been in trying to quash the rebellion beforehand. and at this stage i feel
that president assad still has a pretty decent grip on damascus and the center of damascusment that can change in a heartbeat. >> how far away are the rebels. >> they're not far. they are nipping at the heels without a doubt. >> of damascus. >> absolutely. they're all around, and all the suburbs. they are launching occasionally attacks right in the heart, right in the power base. but as we have seen in aleppo, just because you are all around or even if you go in and launch a major fencive t is one thing to attack. it is another thing to hold. and this is something that the rebels are not very good at. they are not short on bravery. they have launched incredibly bold and audacious attacks, most notably in damascus in the summer when the huge bomb took out half of the ministers. and you know -- >> including assad's brorbl. >> exactly. but you look at aleppo, for example, all the money, resources, manpower, the
bloodshed that has gone into this operation which makes very little sense from a strategic point of view. and every day they take three more streets. and then the next day they lose the three strits. and the effect of the rebel attack on aleppo has been devastating, for every one in the country. for rebels and for regime supporters. and for the hundreds of thousands of people who aren't necessarily interested inic thatting sides at this stage. but who know longer have access to bread, to running water to electricity. and at this stage, it's hard to see where aleppo is going. i mean the rebels have managed to gain a lot of ground but they don't. they haven't been able to take the whole city and they're not always able to hold on to the bits that they do have. >> and how many people from the syrian army are going over to the rebels which was a factor and the defections they had among generals. >> well, it's interesting. i think about a year ago you started to see what started as a trickle really become a
steady stream of mostly sunni soldiers, mostly sort of grunts and the boys on the front lines who were tired of, or were appalled by what they were going asked to do or forced to do. and who therefore defected to the rebels. and you were occasionally seeing a general and pu the problem is that because the rebels are are so fragmented, because they are disorganizedment for many of these military, particularly the more senior officers, they risk their lives, endanger the livelihoods of their families. they make the dangerous escape. they go to join the rebels and they are confronted with chaos, with, you know, a really, a lack of a strategic vision, with a lack of weapons, a lack of money, a lack of resources. so i think that it's fair to say that that stream has kind of steadied up to a trickle again. i also think if you are defected at this stage, are you not getting alot of
points for that any more. we're nearly two years in. anyone defect noug has a lot of blood. >> i have had the foreign minister of russia here. and they seem to have cooled with are. to assad and have backed off from some of the early statements of support for him without saying that they were not supporting him. but clearly believing that there ought to be some kind of negotiated settlement to this thing. >> i think they're pushing very hard for a negotiated settlement. they realized that you know, maybe they're backing the wrong horse. so to speak. i think the cooling off that you refer to is largely rhetorical rather than, i mean there's no question that they are still propping that government up. >> and how. >> they print money for them. the syrians can't any longer principle their own currency in their own country, so the russians are printing the syrian spounds for them and putting them on planes and delivering it. they are supporting them
militarily. and they are supporting them diplomatically, even. they have kind of become a proxy, almost or vicea versa.k you know we're starting to see the russians evacuating some of their citizens, those who wish to leave syria. a lot of people don't realize that because syria was sort of soviet union satellite state, there are a lot of russians, some 60,000 richans living in syria, many russian women married syrian men during the time of the soviet union the. they're still living inside sir yap. so the russian government is now, you know, helping those people who would like to be evacuated. but i don't think you're going to see the russians come out and say bashar al-assad has to go. i mean they will stop short of saying that. but if some kind of a deal was reached by both sides that meant that he did go, i don't think they would complain about it at this stage. >> and what kind of negotiations are going on now, pro himi has been over there a couple-- couple of
times. the last time they left the syrians were critical. >> i think says something when you have the head of the u.n. saying it doesn't appear there is a diplomatic solution to this crisis. behind closed doors i have 4erd rumblings that bro himi is looking, perhaps, to step away from that role. just as kofi annan ultimately -- >> what's the problem for them? >> the problem is that when you have shall did -- i mean there are a lot of problems. >> but because they can't get anybody to talk to them. they can't get february to sit down with each other because -- >> i think you have two major problems. first of all without do you sit down with from the opposition? >> it's still no clear. okay you have this new coalition that has been sped up which is run or lead by hadib. you can sit down and have a very sensible and reasonable conversation with him. but if you talk tie rebel fighter on the ground in aleppo he's like what-- he is not here, i'm here, i'm the fighter. and these are the people, really, that you need to talk to. these are the leaders that
you need to ice lanted who need to be incorporated into any kind of peace talk or discussion about how to progress things further. and i done think that kofi annan or brahimi had any like in isolating who those leaders werement because honestly it is to the really clear who they are, in fact. and in trying to bring them to the table. and similarly, are you dealing with the regime, you no, brahimi can go and talk to bashar al-assad every day and have a perfectly nice conversation. but at the end of the day bashar assad will do what he wants to do. and the regime will act in a way that it feels is necessary to survive. and with both sides so deeply rooted in that thinking, diplomacy doesn't really seem to have you know any appeal yet. >> how will this movie end? >> i mean there are a number of scenarios. and you know, a lot of them are really, really bad. but i would say a couple of things. i think one of the most a recall laing things that we've seen happen over the
course of the last six months, really, is the rise of these extremist groups inside syria, particularly one group, wit u.s. administration declared a terrorist organization. unfortunately there is an argument to be made for the fact that some people say this terrorist designation has made them more popular, even, because it's like they're trying to help us. and you call them terrorist, why would you do that when they are the only ones trying to help us. and you know a lot of the rebels will say to you, listen, we're not extremists. this isn't what we want for our future. but we were drowning. we were dying. we need to win. we held out our hand to you. we said please help. and you didn't help. and so leer we find ourselves, these guys did help. they have money. they have weapons, they have discipline. so but they have fundamentally shifted and changed the dynamic on the ground. now the question is in determines a possible end game, are you going to see more secular or liberal for
lack of a better word forces or more moderate islamist forces rising up within the opposition, within the rebels and saying you know what, enough is enough, halas, we want to separate ourselves from these more extremist groups. and appeal to a broader base, particularly in terms of ode civilians. is if they are able to do that with some measure of success it might change what you are looking at as a possible end game. >> are there any lessons from libya that are apply to syria. >> there are so many. i remember when ambassador stevens was killed and i was about to go into syria for "60 minutes" and my colleagues and i just looked at each other. we said this is the nail in the coffin for syria. because libya was supposed to be the poster child of intervention, right. we went in. no-fly zone, took down qaddafi, set free the people,
we're heroes. everyone is happy. well, fast forward and it turns out that everyone is not necessarily happy. and that actually this transitional government has very little power outside of the capital. and that there are, you know, islamist militias who are basically controlling huge swathes of the rest of the country and not all of them are sympathetic to western or democratic values. and indeed some of them are actively hostile to the u.s. so it kind of changed. everything that americans had kind of believed about like if you give people democracy they'll be happy and they'll like us because we all like democraciment suddenly kind of changed in a moment. and it was like okay, actually that's not necessarily the way things work. and intervention doesn't necessarily mean a happy ending. and i think the syrian people felt that very strongly too. and from a security point of view, if are you the u.s. administration, and are you looking at how qaddafi, odduous though he may have
been, he did provide some sort of, he was a linchpin in the region for combatting extremism, for keeping all those groups under control, and now that he's gone it's interesting. you are starting to see already like a trickle. the mercenaries who were working for him and were heavily arm ready now popping up in libya, you know, other parts of libya, at any ger and chad and more tanya. it potentially becomes really, really frightening. and the same argument could be paid about bashar al-assad. that he was able to contain islamists and that therefore you lose him, what comes in. >> and especially his father. >> exactly. >> there is also the question of the chemical weapons. there was a flurry when they thought perhaps that bashar al-assad was going to move them there was some activity and i think that everybody, including the russians sent a strong message, don't play around with the chemical weapons, what is the thinking inside about how
safety these chemical weapons are, b, somebody might fall into the wrong hands even though they are rebels, and b whether assad would use them in the end? >> i think there are two schools of thought there is the school of thought that like this is a man who is, who is evil. who has actively, actively bombarded and sought to kill civilians en masse as a tactic to frighten them away from supporting the rebels. so you know, of course what would stop him from using chemical weapons. he's clearly -- >> he crossed every red line. it's line-- but then there is another school of thought that says well, you know what, he's also pretty cynical and calculating and savvy in many ways. and why would he use chemical weapons when he snows that the immediate reaction of the international community, perhaps grudgingly would be okay, now we really do have to get involved. now we really do have to do something. that said he certainly is
not beyond doing, you know, using mem call weapons then blaming it on the rebels and but when you talk to people inside syria, the chemical weapons issue is not necessarily such a preoccupation for them in the way that it has become in the west. for us we think chemical weapons there is nothing more horrifying, we think of mustard gas and sarrin in the first and second world war. these people are already living in hell this rebeing bombed and shelled and snipered and shot at every single day. so while they are aware that the threat of chemical weapons is out there, they are already suffering so enormously that i don't think they sort of view it with quite the same this is the red line two other countries i want to talk about. how significant is their support. and what are they giving him? >> their support is very significant.
you know, they're giving him, well first of all they're giving him the expertise of their top, you know, revolution -- >> exactly. who are absolutely operating inskid -- >> are on the ground. >> yes, i mean every rebel you meet will tell you oh, i have iranians who i have arrested, who were, you know, there in a military capacity. i have never seen them with my own eyes but from people i have spoken to, i have no doubt that they are there. and that they are tlz in an important capacity in terms of training and facilitating the armies strategy against-- the rebels. >> rose: because if it is all falls they have a lot to lose. >> i would almost flip it in that sense. i understand what syria is getting from iran but it's more like what does syria mean to iran. i mean if syria goes, iran, and becomes, you know, bashar al a sad fallsing it becomes a sunni states, essentially. iran no longer has a convenient way of shuttling
weapons to hezbollah, its shit militia in lebanon, and they go back to a world where it is iran, iraq and lebanon, basically as its shiite bastions and that is not in their interests, of course. and there is so much, you know, i mean it's hard to overemphasize the importance that like how goes syria so goes os region so to speak. i mean the shifting that balance in terms of to a sunni majority rule would have huge ripple affects for the entire region and iran is very nervous about that. >> so how is assad handling his own security? he saw his brother-in-law and several his top national security people in a bomb that took place inside what i would assume a safe area. so he had to say to himself they got -- there they could get here. one said he was sleeping in different places and all of that. >> i have heard so many rumors. he's living in latakia, he
is sleeping on a naval ship. he is in the pal dferb -- palace, he is in a private apartment being moved around from place to place every night. i think what isn't clear, what people still -- -- because it's pretty opaque, the syrian regime swrechl a sense it is pretty much a handful 6 men who are really running this country. but we don't have beyond bash orr all assad and coy couple of other sort of shady characters we don't really know who these individuals are, what motivates them, what the flavor of their conversations and interactions and strategy going forward is. i think it's probably unlikely that bash or al-assad plays a huge role in his own security or in sort of pushing forward like the security policies an strategies for syria, and for its army. however a lot of other people will say he's not just a muppet either. >> rose: i think there has been a greater appreciation of him being in charge over the last several years than
there were before because for a long time the assumption was when they came in having simply been picked because his brother was killed in an automobile accident, that he was prepared. his father tried to prepare him but didn't have long before his father died. and then he had to become president. and that he was then in some ways beholden to his father's advisors. for a long time the assumption was that they had the upper hand. but now people who have some knowledge and have been there is a that no, in the end it's assad, es a's the guy. >> look at that speech earlier this month. i mean this was, this man was emboldened. he did not appear to be frightened or cowed or stammering in anyway, shape or form. >> rose: we will only know until the historians write this and we see how it plays itself out whether if there had been intervention earlier, from the west p from somewhere, that it might have made a difference before all those other groups came in.
because they were warnings that that would happen. they knew it was going to happen. and it then happened because always the question, ask about syria, well s so what happens when assad falls. who and what do you know about the person who will take over. >> i interviewed secretary of state clinton in march of last year. and the question i asked her was with-- are you not concerned that if we do not step in and i say we in a very general way f someone does not step in to fill the void, so to speak, to take the vacuum and fill it with a positive force, that other nonstate extremist actors will step in and take advantage of that. and the answer that she gave me was, you know, we're supporting with non-- humanitarian aid and it is unfortunate that that is exactly what happened. there wasn't any movement from the international community. in fact there was a
staggering lack of movement from the international community. and i would just say that on the issue of our policy towards syria, what sometimes seemed unclear to me was what is our syria policy. what is the u.s.'s policy. because at the moment it sort of looks like a kind of nonpolicy in a sense. i mean it's clear that the u.s. supports, or does to the support and condemns bash orr al-assad but they are also not helping the rebels beyond some humanitarian aid. >> rose: they have recognized the rebels but have not given them recognition as the government of syria. >> they have recognized the rebels, have not given that recognition but more importantly haven't given them the money and the weapons and the tools that they argue they would need. so i interviewed -- the head of the syrian coalition, the opposition coalition and he said, you know, we've been promised all this money. and it's not just from the u.s., from the west and
various countries. the money hasn't come. and if i don't have money on the ground, money talks in syria. and if i don't have money and i'm a rebel leader, nobody cares about the fact that like i have the benevolent goodwill of the international community. if i don't have weapons, if i don't have bullets, then i don't have traction on the ground. >> rose: or the benevolent goodwill of the rest of the world is only good if it gives me the weapons to achieve my ends. >> exactly. >> rose: let me be a victorious general. >> there is a very strong argument. i'm not prop gaid-- propagating intervention. if your policy is one of nonintervention then let's just be clear on that. that is the policy here. but not intervening has consequences and ramifications in the same way that intervening would do as well. and i'm not saying that one should have intervened in syria. but one thing i think you could argue is that by not intervening at all, we sort of have lost the ability or
the opportunity to have a say in maybe which forces have the most traction or are most dominant on the ground. >> rose: let me talk briefly about being a foreign correspondent. how do you view, i mean you obviously risk your life to get inside syria, to talk. what is it that drives you to play this kind of journa journalistic-- is it just the greatest story you can find. >> it is. i mean syria has been in my blood for-- . >> rose: dow speak arabic. >> i speak arabic. >> rose: we famously watched you say something to somebody. >> the hamas leader. i speak enough arabic that i can get by and shoot the breeze and have nice conversations with people. i would be embarrass food say i spoke beautiful arabic because it is very cole oakial slangy. >> but that helps a lot. i mean i think, look, this year has been awful from the perfective of working as a for earn-- foreign reporter
inside sir ya, lousing murray colevin, anthony shadid, having a friend and colleague, austin tice taken and now it's now five months with no news. that's really, really hard. and it has made this conflict like an inbelieveably difficult one to cover and that's just on your personal level. then you take into account your experiences when are you living in these places. because it's not like a normal sinarrio where you stay in a hotel and a driver and shuttle back and forth every day, are you living in these people's house. i have been sleeping in a room where the people who were killed during the day are underneath the room, now he in the garage awaiting their burial the next morning. i was in a room with women having tea when news that one of their brothers had been killed. and i'm in the room with them while they're screaming
and crying and ripping out their hair. and that, and you're living with these peoplement and they are giving you shelter and food. and as a human being, that is really, really, really wrenching. i mean it's incredibly-- we talk so much about the logistical challenges of covering sirria. but the emotional challenges are also really quite profound. >> rose: yeah, especially when you have so many innocents killed. >> exactly. i mean children being killed, women being killed. and just seeing like people everywhere are just hysterical-- hysterical with grief all around you. that is unbelievably painful to bear witness to. and then compounded by the fact that our little journalist world which is a small but really fierce and tight world has also been, you know, really devastated this year. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> thank you. >> rose: congratulations on the dupont. >> thank you so much.
>> rose: we turn now to politics and elections in israel and jordan earlier this week. this comes at a time when the winds of change are sweeping through the middle east. since the start of the arab spring political unrest in jordan has intensified. many groups including the muslim brotherhood boy kod the election with more than half of jordan's registered voters participated. this is part of a series of reforms king abdullah ii has implemented to combat political discents. if israel benjamin netanyahu was granted aid third term as a prime minister in the coalition government but the real winner maybe lapid worst centrist party gain gained substantial ground, joining me is jordan ambassador to the united nation and efraim halevy who served in the israel national security council. i'm pleased to have them both on this program to talk together at this table about important things that are going on in their region including elections, mr. ambassador, thank you
for coming. tell me what we read into the jordanian elections and what they tell us about the future of jordan. >> well, thank you very much for having me on the show, charlie. i think for all of us, we believe yesterday was a day of celebration. we had good turnout. the majority of those who registered to vote. and they were 70% of the eligible voters, eye majority voted yesterday. and this is a record in terms of the numbers who have turned out. but also more than that, they signified because the elections were not simply undertaken to fill seats in parliament, but they signified it was almost like a plebiscite it they signified that the country and the vision his majesty
has for the country is supported by the majority of those who registered. and then took part in the elections yesterday. so we believe that it was a day of celebration. naturally we would have preferred that it would have included those who ultimately boycotted the elections. but given that the campaign was so concerted, it was actually a very pleasant surprise that so many people did in the end go and vote and take part yesterday. >> rose: you're speaking of the muslim brotherhood. >> yes t wasn't just the islamic action front there were other parties that joined them. and we feel that the people now have spoken by participating. and i think they helpfully now it's a time for closing ranks, for conducting a deep dialogue. once the government has been formed and his majesty has said that the next prime
minister t is the wish of his majesty that the next prime minister will be elected on the basis of the results of the elections. and this hasn't been done since october 1956. it was tried at that stage for a few months. the times were too turbulent for it to work as an smerment. this is not so much an experiment. this is a very decisive step. and his majesty believes that we are essentially, we have a high wire in front of us. and we are at the point of getting on to the wire. some would like us to jump on the wire. with all the gusts that we could be subject to. we believe that we should tread very carefully, test the balance, test the humidity and make progress longa long the path to ultimately to a democracy that functions and functions very well.
>> there are those who believe and i have asked the king this, there are those who believe that what is sweeping across the middle east, so-called arab spring which may be an arab fall or winter, it will clearly touch jordan. and there will be very difficult for the king to resist. why do you believe he can. >> there is this view, commonly held, that much of what we have seen has been as a result of the presence of satellite tv. of facebook and twitter and the intervet. and the spread of the arab message was transmitted through these medians very effectively. but when you look at it, the european revolutions of 1848 spread at a faster clip than did the arab spring. and this at a pint in
history when the telegraph was still three years away from coming into commercial use here in the united states in 1851. and so what it tells you is that if the ground is prepared, if the people have grievances, then the message will spread. now it spread very quickly through the presidential republics. the argument could be made that, and this was elaborated in the two arab human development reports that were issued earlier on in the last decade. that the deficits that were spoken of in these reports, the knowledge deficit, education basically, health, and so forth were much deeper in those countries than perhaps in the monarchyes. but that doesn't make light of the fact that we recognize and his majesty recognized earlier on that
we must change with the times. that we must adapt. >> change with its times means what. >> we must open our -- >> we must open up our system to-- . >> rose: more of a constitutional monarchy. >> that's i think what exactly majesty is speak of. that we have opened up our culture to the internet, very decisively so. that we have tried to encourage press freedom. of course recognizing that there must be limits within the context of the law in terms of slander and leibel. and with that -- libel, and with that there must be greater participation in terms of how we or how the country is to be governed over the next few years. and his majesty said that the monarchy's son will inherit will be vastly different from that which he inherited from his late father. >> rose: how do you see the theft threat to jordan. >> looking at this on a
broader level, the monarchyes in the middle east have done much better than other types of regime. i'm talking about monarchyes, i'm talking about jordan, i'm talking about saudi a rain ya, the gulf states. we have monarchyes there. and monarchyes are especially attuned, i think to the culture of the region. and it's not possible simply to is up plant a system which you have had in europe or the u.s.a. and so forth and to implant it in a region which has other aspects of culture, other beliefs, other ten et ceteras that they follow. and that is why there as been an element of legitimacy to the monarchyes which the other regimes did not have. and therefore not withstanding what has happened in other places, the winds of changed their way. they have swept across several of the countries in the middle east like egypt, like tunesia, to some extent yemen, now the struggle in syria. there the regimes were regimes which basically lacked legitimacy in the
end. >> so monarchyes have legitimacy because of their culture affinity and other things. >> also very often the monarchyes, also the religious authority in the country, not in all the monarchyes but there is this meeting of the ways between religion and secularism, is often finds itself in the monarchy in one. and therefore it is easier for the population to accept the monarchy as a authority whereas the fact that somebody was a general in an army and therefore he took over as a result of a coup, and certainly the fact that he then hands over the reins of power to his son this is something which is not only strange to the western world t is also strange to the region itself. and it could not be sustainedment and we saw that this could not be sustained in egypt and certainly has not been sustained in syria. >> so i would assume that not withstanding it what has happened, you were believing that the monarchyes will
withstand the pressure for change. >> there has to be change. life is never status quo. there are changes. the question is whether monarchyes move with the changes, whether they integrate the kangs in their system of government, and the monarchyes are attuned to the voice of the people in many ways. just a couple of weeks ago the king of saudi arabia has appointed women to its legislative consultive assembly this is semi revolutionary. >> the muslim brotherhood an other islamist grups as well as those principles in jordan, do they find common cause? >> well, i think it's notsd for me to speak on their behalf. i am its jordanian ambassador so i suppose i speak on their behalf in terms of -- >> but i'm not their spokesman. i think what his majesty has been saying, and it's very
clear s that we are a plura plurallistic society. we all have our views. we have much that bind us together so let's work together. let's work together in a parliamentary context. and work through all of this. and i-- it's very clear that i think had they participated in the elections they would have done well. and from the standpoint or from the point of being in parliament, they could then convince others that their view and their outlook is the correct one. i think of course in the future they look back and they would probably regreat that they didn't participate. because it was and is an historic event that we should have now a prime minister basically elected on the basis of the results themselves. but this is our hope and what his ma swresy said will endeavor to do and hope to do. there is a very slight
possibility that it may prove to be difficult in which case we would have to go beyond the blocks within parliament. but the hope is that the new prime minister and the new government will be based on the results of the election so it's quite transform difficult in terms of our history. >> israeli elections, how surprised were you? >> i was surprised in part. i was not surprised in other ways. i am very happy with the results. i think the wings of change have come to israel in our own peculiar way. i think we have -- >> what are those winds of change blowing for? >> i think they are blowing for several causes which are very important causes which have been neglected over a long period of time. one is of course the cause which has been uppermost in people's minds which is the problems of the middle last, the demonstrations of a year or so ago when the streets of tel aviv were filled with
tents, people protesting, high prices and the inability to make ends meet at the end of the month. but there is something much more deep and fundamental which is going to happen now in the months to come. and they are already been a few indications of this in the last 48 hours. and that is that the problem of the relationship between religion and state, between those who are orthodox and trawl orthodox and those who are to a large extent secular, how to create a society in which you have common aims, common beliefs and which people enjoy common rights. we have today a situation in israel in which hundreds of thousands of is leal does not have a personal status in the which. they are not recognized technically as jews. they come from the sovie soviet-- soviet union or have been porn. >> you get an extemp from serving in the military and other things. >> no, they don't. >> they don't. >> no, they don't but when they want to marry they have
no way to mary and they have to go outside the country in order to marry and their jewish identity is not recognized by the state. these are very serious problems because in the end this could be a major split inside israeli society which i have said in the past and i have been quoted and unfortunately also maligns as a result of this, i think this is a greater threat to israel than the iranian nuclear threat 40u does your government see this. >> we haven't had time because as their results came out we were in the middle. >> i suspect we would be looking at it very closely. particularly from the context from the perfect-- perspective of what this may mean from the react vacation from a now moribund peace processment and our hope is that with the re-election of the president of the united states and his inauguration took place a few days ago and now with the elections
having just been held in israel, that we would see perhaps some oxygen being blown into what was otherwise a sort of deplate-- deflated peace balloonment and we need to now send it a lot of. and we hope the years will signal a decisive moment, a make-or-break momentment and we hope it will be of course for the positive that we will have an outcome. because if we cannot make headway this year, i think we all fear that which going to be in deep peril. >> rose: and what has to change to make it in the cards? >> two things have to change. one, there has to be a change in palestinian society wilt will enable them to get together and put together a leadership which is willing to reach a kind av come days with israeli.
i will tell you something why i am saying a kind av come days. it also needs a change of the political system in israel. and this is going to be number one or number two on the agenda of this new parliament, of changing the system. presidental system, or a elected prime minister we tried it in the past. or changing the rules of the election which would make it difficult for small little parties to gain. >> so make deflection of the president a-- the election of the president a popular vote. >> maybe, one of the possibilities, it means to say the leadership has to be empowered by the population to reach decisions, to take decisions which would have a very, very serious effect on the daily lives of large segments of the population. like people living in judea and sum aria, for example. so there has to be a change on both sides of the divide, not just the one side. and therefore you have to look for the moment, not for the end of the conflict. we have to look for a system of living side-by-side. and gradually building up an
understanding between us and them. look what happened in gaza a few weeks ago. we had a week of fighting. and the fighting stopped. nobody knows very much about the negotiations which brought the fighting to a stop. both sides stopped firing. the fishermen of gaza started picking up fish where they never were able to take fish before. trucks are going into the gaza strip in quantities never before. and an entirely new fleet of buses has come into gaza. building materials are allow mood gaa which would never allow them before. and nobody in israel actually knows what the pr am ters of the agreement, without signed at agreement. who was part of the agreement. what are the prospects of the agreement where. is all this leading. this is practical life. this settling problems on a practical basis. and i think what we need now is to climb down from ideologies, to climb down from talking about the necessity on the one hand by
the way that the palestinians should recognize our right to exist. i don't think we need them to recognize our light os. i don't think we don't need to recognize their rights. we have to find ways and means of coexisting together and gradually building this up. and i think this is something which is doable with the help of countries like the king of jordan and others. and with the help by the way of the muslim brotherhood in egypt which now realizes that being in opposition is one thing. but being in power is something else. they were the, brought about posedly the a agreement, the nonagreement, the nonpaper, the nonassigned paper which brought about the ends of these hostile-- hostilities. >> why shouldn't israel support-- why shouldn't israel say we recognize the state. we will now recognize there is a state, a palestinian state and now we will negotiate a boundaries and other issues. >> i will tell you honestly. i think we have to leave
with the reality. the palestinian state today is not a reality. the fact that the united nations passed the resolution doesn't create a statement. the united nations didn't create our state. we to the for our independence in a world which we didn't -- >> the united nations recognized your state. >> the united nations decided in november 1947 that two states should be established. >> a jewish state and an arab state. that's the way they put it. >> rose: and the palestinians turned it down. >> yes. and they with had a war. and out of the war was born the state of israel. now you cannot have a state which is born out of a resolution t has to be a reality on the ground. in order for this reality to take root. you not only have to have a building in ramallah and a kind of a legislate of a sellably. there has to be a system that we built up a system, statehood for a long period of time before we were a state. the fact that they are
trying to sort of jump over this state, this stage of their development and say okay, we don't have this and this and this and this but we are a state, i think this could lead to a situation which i think is a very bad one of a failed state. and this is something which i done think they should reason interested in. >> the argument goes is that this should be negotiated rather than just granted by the united nations. peak to this before we close because we have gone from the jordanian elections and what may happen in some arab spring to the israeli election moving towards the center. and now we're back to this subject. and you speak eloquently of how you see it, what is necessary and cannot be immediate, where you see well, on the prospects i'm perhaps a bit more sanguine and if not for the fact that for no other reason that we are not profits. we don't know how things are going to work out. when i was serving in bosnia
with the former yugoslavia with the u.n. in 1995, in july of 1995, if someone had told me that in four or five months there would be no more fighting in yugoslavia or bosnia at the time, i wouldn't have believed it. none of us would have believed it because there was so much hatred there was some of weaponry. all the peace plans had failed. we were exhausted. and somehow the circumstances changed and we had the end of the fighting. so there is no never in this world. the other thing is that the acquisition by the palestinians in the new status in the u.n., gives the palestinians very much an instrument by which they can put pressure on israel. and everyone knows this. they can make what is called a 12-3 application to the
international criminal court, the international criminal court will be seized with this issue. and can begin to investigate. israeli officials. israel doesn't want that. the palestinians on the overhand and we on the arab side, the islamic world. we don't want to see any new settlement units being built in e 1 which will spell the death knell to the future viability of the palestinian state that we have recognized ourselves. and so when you, when there is a symmetry here, that both sides can put pressure of an enormous kind on the other. and you hope that before these steps are sustain, one wakes up, one sees that there is no other alternative, that we must think very clearly. and that not you will creative means by which we can solve this problem have been exhausted. why has the approach never been tried. why can't we get the experts
to discuss many of the municipal issues, the hydrologists, dem og-- demographers, municipal experts, leave the most sensitive issues for a later stage. why don't we have a standing negotiating cell, for instance. there are things that we can talk about. and even in terms of the arab peace initiative. >> nobody is talking right now r they. >> they're not. after last year's attempt they're not. but we hope that with the elections and with the new administration or the re-election of president obama that this will provide some wind for our sails. >> rose: thank you for coming. great to see you. >> thank you. >> rose: great to see you against. >> thank you,. >> rose: thank you very much.